At the core of effective online project management tools is: Who, What and When. Who is going to compete the task, what the task actually entails, and when it is going to be completed? If you keep these three things in mind when you set up and manage the project, you won’t go far wrong.

Choose the person who is the most qualified to complete the task, spell out exactly what they are going to do and how they’re going to do it and  have a set date by which the entire project must be completed.  You then need to communicate this to your staff and delegate the project with measurable deliverables.

It is very unsatisfactory to say to someone to ‘get most of this back to me as soon as possible.’ This does not create any feeling of urgency in the mind of your employee. If you want them to go to your project management dashboard and post on your blog, tell them how many posts they need to get done by which day. ‘I need you to make three posts by Wednesday,’ for example.

Make it clear to your remote staff that reporting the job is a crucial part of their job. It is not a matter of simply completing the task, they must also enter the details required in a spreadsheet or log it where it needs to be logged and send it through to the right people. This aspect might need to be in the hands of a very responsible virtual assistant with some good leadership skills who will then  report back about the team’s progress. Quality control is also part of the job.

Ask the person who will be doing the task using online project management tools how long they estimate it will take them.  If they say that writing five Ezine articles will take two days, give them three days to do it. If at the end of those three days, the articles are still not written, you will have more ammunition to say to them, you told me it would take two days, and here it has been three days and the job is not done?

If most of the work in your business is handled by people who are present in your office, a snap meeting can be easily held whenever the need arises. If on the other hand, the bulk of the work is handled offshore by your virtual team, it is a little more complicated. Planning ahead to arrange specific times to speak on Skype may need to be organized, for example, in order that the right amount of communication happens.

It will not be so easy to call an emergency meeting if something comes up, so you must be prepared to be a little more organized and have some definite plans in place to meet every contingency when working with a virtual team. However, if you are very clear at the outset about what is expected, explain who is to complete each task using online project management tools and when it is to be completed by, usually the work will flow very smoothly.

Here at Melbourne Video Production, we have mastered the art of project management using online project management tools. Want to know more how we do it? Follow us at Facebook.com/SEOmastermind today.

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